Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced a significant alliance focused on the development of high value laboratory research reagents based upon Sangamo's ZFP technology. The alliance combines Sigma's global marketing capabilities and reputation as a provider of high quality products and kits for scientific research with Sangamo's expertise in the field of ZFPs.
ZFPs are the dominant class of naturally occurring proteins known as transcription factors and are found in the nucleus of every cell. They bind to DNA to regulate gene expression. Though there are many kinds of transcription factors, only ZFPs are amenable to engineering and precise targeting to a particular gene or genes of interest. By engineering ZFPs that can recognize a specific DNA sequence, Sangamo scientists have created ZFP nucleases or ZFNs(TM) that facilitate efficient and highly specific gene modification and ZFP transcription factors or ZFP TFs(TM) that specifically control gene expression and consequently, cell function. Scientists at Sigma-Aldrich and Sangamo will use ZFNs like precision "surgical instruments" to modify genes in cells and to develop and market ZFP products for broad use in numerous laboratory research reagent applications. Among the anticipated applications are cell lines with enhanced protein production performance, panels of knock-out cell lines for drug discovery, as well as novel stem cell and transgenic animal models.
"ZFPs are another great example of the leading-edge platform technologies we are adding to our expanding collection of "customer first" products and services," said Jai Nagarkatti, President and CEO of Sigma-Aldrich. "This alliance bolsters our ongoing commitment to enable science globally through innovation. We believe that Sangamo's ZFP technology could fundamentally alter the way in which research on living cells and organisms is conducted. By vastly improving the precision and efficiency with which genomes of living organisms can be modified and regulated, ZFPs provide significant potential for both research and development. Our alliance with Sangamo will enable us to create even more novel research products and services to accelerate the success of our customers while continuing to deliver exceptional value for our shareholders."